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Annan seafood jobs boost now in doubt

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By Rod Edgar
Annan and Eskdale

DOUBTS have been cast on a possible jobs boost at an Annan factory.

Young’s Seafood Ltd had revealed proposals earlier this month to shut its processing plants in Fraserburgh and Grantown on Spey — identifying Pinneys of Scotland as one of three locations where 200 new jobs might be created.
However, after convening a joint stakeholder group meeting last Thursday, Scottish Government Business Minister Fergus Ewing says there is now a potential alternative to a plan which would have cost 900 jobs.
Mr Ewing said: “The Scottish Government has made every effort to safeguard jobs at Young’s two sites in Fraserburgh and Grantown on Spey.
“I am pleased that Young’s is now exploring a revised option which would see their Fraserburgh factory remain open, albeit downsized to around 250 permanent staff with no redundancies before 2016. An alternative buyer would be sought for the Grantown on Spey facility.”
He added: “This is a significant and welcome move. Young’s have engaged closely with the Scottish Government and public sector partners. They have demonstrated a willingness to listen and recognise the value of retaining many of their dedicated workers in Scotland.”
Young’s Seafoods had been engaged in a statutory 45-day consultation with the workforce at Fraserburgh and Grantown on Spey when the meeting took place between Mr Ewing, Richard Lochhead MSP, Stewart Stevenson MSP, Eilidh Whiteford MP, Young’s CEO Peter Ward and representatives of Young’s, USDAW, Aberdeenshire Council, Scottish Enterprise, and Skills Development Scotland.
Young’s Seafood Ltd say consultation is continuing, and that the alternative option to keep Fraserburgh open would be loss making in the short-term until further contracts could be won and scale reintroduced.
Peter Ward said: “The company is committed to constructive engagement with all stakeholders in a transparent way to explore all and every option to retain as many jobs as is feasible.
“I would like to thank all of the stakeholders present for their commitment and also recognise the ongoing commitment of the workforce in these difficult circumstances.”


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